Masculinity reached a certain point in film where it became so ridiculous that it couldn’t go any further. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the perfect male in the “Terminator” pictures, in that he was made of metal and he was super-built. What happened then is that masculinity sort of got chipped away until you had a character like John McClane in “Die Hard”, who was slightly more vulnerable and, as such, imperfect. That was almost the beginning of dismantling the super-male into something more normal. Through that process, what used to be the Beta male became the Alpha male. You’ve got people like Seth Rogen, I guess myself, and Steve Carell and Paul Rudd—all slightly more normal guys that are taking the lead roles because it’s okay now to be imperfect and nerdy.
I’m Very Ape and Very Nice
Okay, dismantling boneheaded machismo is fine and all, but I’m still staking out the Omega Male territory for myself and putting up a barbed-wire fence and a crocodile-infested moat. Not every outcast is hungering for acceptance and respectability.